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Chapter 14 : Design of Biomedical Laboratory Facilities
This chapter deals with basic biomedical and clinical laboratories at biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) and with containment laboratories, with the main emphasis on BSL-3 and their enhancements. In BSL-4 cabinet laboratories the focus is on enhanced primary containment by working with viable agents in a class III biological safety cabinets (BSCs). Primary barriers are specialized items designed for capture or containment of biological agents, e.g., BSCs, chemical fume hoods (CFHs), and animal cage dump stations. Secondary barriers are facility-related design features that separate the laboratory from nonlaboratory areas or from the outside. An administrative area, physically separated from all hazardous aspects of laboratory work, should be planned near the main entry to each building or floor. Caging systems as primary containment are an important consideration in the risk assessment and design of animal BSL-3 (ABSL-3) facilities. Historically, laboratories had fairly simple static heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Air change rates vary depending on specific needs, types of HVAC systems, number of exhausted containment devices per laboratory, and cooling requirements of rooms. Laboratories often have two types of drainage systems: sanitary and laboratory waste. A plan must be developed to provide a clear method for distribution of HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems to the facility to allow for ease of operation and maintenance. Clinical laboratories are one of the most successful users of flexible casework. Cabinets for flammable and acid storage should be provided in each laboratory where chemicals are used and stored.